Charles Petzold

Barack Obama Comes to The Village

September 27, 2007
New York, N.Y.

I live in a neighborhood of New York City called Greenwich Village, or often just The Village. We don't seem to get visited by Presidential candidates very much. Maybe some of them take us for granted; maybe others don't even bother. The neighborhood does tend to be a little . . . but let's leave politics out of it. Politics can be divisive, and the last thing we need is another 8 years of Rovian divisiveness.

I suppose I could be forgetting about plenty of other Presidential candidate appearances in my neighborhood, but the last one I remember was Gary Hart, and that was the 1980s.

So it was a real treat to learn that Barack Obama would be speaking at a outdoor rally in Washington Square Park this evening. I showed up rather early to get in line, and when they let us into the park at 4:30 I planted myself on the rim of the fountain, maybe about 50 feet from the elevated stage they set up for the occasion. Here's a view from Google maps.

Over the next two hours, the park got more and more crowded, and NYU students seemed to dominate the demographic. Thunderstorms had been expected all day, but they failed to materialize. By the time Barack showed up and took the stage, the sun was going down, so eventually he was lit by just spotlights and street lamps.

What a terrific speaker he is! And even better, he says all the right things! It's amazing hearing core American values expressed with such clarity and passion. It's been a long time.